Hofmann floored by score
Fans of Utah's gymnastics teams booed the 9.85 senior Gritt Hofmann earned on the floor, believing it should have been higher. Hofmann shared their feelings, so much so she may ditch the routine and go back to her old one.
"Last week, I didn't think I could do any better, and I still got a low score," she said of the 9.875 earned at Michigan. "I came in with the old routine, so I might end with it."
Hofmann's old routine, performed to "River Dance," regularly earned her scores of 9.9. If she went back to that routine, she would keep the upgraded tumbling from the current routine.
The change has Utah coach Greg Marsden's approval.
"The routine she has now is a great routine and she performs it well, 'River Dance' just seems to be a better fit for her," he said. "She has tried this one for half a season, and the fans and judges just seem to like the other one better."
Blame the toe
Junior Nicolle Ford had a rare off night, with both her beam and floor routines starting with 9.8 start values.
She earned a 9.75 on the beam and a 9.65 on the floor.
Ford took out some tumbling on her floor pass because she ran out of stamina, then missed a connection on her beam routine because of a toe cramp.
"I tried to change the choreography to fix it and tried to stretch it on the beam," Ford said. "Then it screwed up my jump. It was just an off night for me."
Ford said she gets toe cramps often, particularly on the bars.
"I guess I try to point my toes too hard," she said.
At least she didn't blame a late bus, like American figure skater Johnny Weir did for his poor performance in the Olympics.
Back in form
Marsden called Hofmann's and Nina Kim's falls on the balance beam a week ago freak mistakes by two usually solid gymnasts in the event. Both came back strong Friday, with Hofmann scoring a 9.925 and Kim scoring 9.825.
Hofmann's score was her second highest of the season and Kim's tied her second highest.
"Last week I got nervous," Hofmann said. "Tonight was great. I just went out and did my thing."
Kim Womack, who is from Huntsville, competed on the vault for the Gophers and scored a 9.675.
The score was her third best of the year, and highest on the event since a 9.725 she earned in the second meet of the year.
Womack said she left more than 20 tickets for friends and family members.
"I love it here," Womack said. "I grew up watching the Utes compete."
A better fall
Ashley Postell fell on the floor for the third meet in a row, but Marsden said he was more pleased with tonight's effort than the last two meets. Postell's hand slipped off her leg on her first tumbling pass, causing her to misjudge the floor and fall forward.
"She looked strong tonight and more than capable of doing all three passes," he said. "I was encouraged more than discouraged."